New York Jets legend Winston Hill is headed to Canton. Among his accolades is a team Ring of Honor induction and a Super Bowl title.
Winston Hill is headed to the Hall of Fame! #PFHOF20
— New York Jets (@nyjets) January 15, 2020
“I am beyond thrilled that Winston will join football’s immortals in Canton,” Jets CEO Christopher Johnson said in a team statement. “Winston was a generational talent who became our greatest pillar along the offensive line. He was a durable champion who was blessed with an uncommon humility. Loved by his teammates, Winston was a towering figure inside the locker room and his presence is forever lasting.”
Hill was an 11th-round draft pick out of Texas Southern by the NFL’s Baltimore Colts in 1963. He opted instead to join the American Football League’s New York franchise, which underwent a transformation from a Titans moniker to its modern-day Jets incarnation.
Hill would make his first AFL All-Star team one year later. He’d play 14 seasons with the Jets, going to four All-Star Games and four Pro Bowls. His marks of 195 consecutive games played and 174 consecutive starts are Jets records for offensive linemen. The AFL honored Hill by naming him to their All-Time team upon their 1970 merger with the NFL.
The Joaquin, Texas native played a big role in helping that merger happen. Hill was on the Jets’ offensive line for Super Bowl 3, ironically against Baltimore. The Jets earned 142 yards rushing and Matt Snell scored the team’s only touchdown in a 16-7 win. It was the first time an AFL team had defeated an NFL team in the professional football championship showcase.
After 14 seasons in New York, Hill played one season with the Los Angeles Rams (alongside fellow Jets legend and Super Bowl MVP Joe Namath) before retiring in 1977. His number was retired by the Jets in 2009 and he was placed into the team’s Ring of Honor upon MetLife Stadium’s opening one year later.
Additionally, Hill opened a barbecue restaurant in Centennial, Colorado labeled “Winston Hill’s Ribs & Stuff” which continues to operate to this day.
Hill will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio later this summer. Fellow inductees include head coaches Bill Cowher and Jimmy Johnson, who were each informed of their inductions in emotional surprises on their respective pregame shows during the NFL’s divisional playoffs. Former New York Giants general manager George Young has also been posthumously invited.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490.